Throughout most of the Great Crusade the 7th Company, 7th Chapter (known then as the 77th) were assigned to the 216th Expeditionary fleet and tasked with bringing the Imperial Truth to the galactic South-west. As the only Astartes in the fleet, they had to work effectively and efficiently with the attached imperial army units, in particular the Byzant Janizars, the Saoghal Infantry and the Calsna Hussiks.
The 77th were later recalled to rejoin the rest of the chapter in a campaign to fight off the Khrave in the Eastern Fringe. This action would prove pivotal in the company’s history as it would result in its absence from the Betrayal at Calth and the birth of the Black Consuls. When news finally reached the 77th of the Betrayal at Calth, they flew into a rage more becoming of the 12th Legion. Cato successfully pleaded to be dispatched to Ultramar to aid in the defence of the 500 Worlds.
During the journey the 77th underwent a period of mourning, partly for their lost brothers on Calth, but also that they were absent from the betrayal. Legionaries took to painting parts of their armour in black to serve as a reminder that they were absent when their Legion needed them most. It was this practice that gave the 77th their name, the Black Consuls. On arrival in Ultramar, the Black Consuls spent their time fighting against the Word Bearers wherever possible, hunting down their hated foe in vengeance for all they did to their brothers on Calth.
Operating as a specialist company within the 7th Chapter, the 77th boasted a large number of breacher units, most of whom were kitted out for close combat. This was due to their preferred way of war, laid down by Captain Cato: overwhelming, close combat force applied to a key area in order to break their enemy across a broader front.
Cato Decius Valerianus was captain of the 7th Chapter’s 7th Company, who would come to be known as ‘The Black Consuls’. A native of Talassar, Cato was inducted shortly after the legion’s reunification with Guilliman. He proved to be a natural commander and earned Invictarus honours at a remarkably young age.
Having served in the breacher companies of the 20th Chapter, Cato was well versed in fleet actions and always fought with an artificer, eagle-wrought breacher shield that he was gifted on his ascension to captain. In light of his achievement and operating as a Suzerain bodyguard for Guilliman on Greenor, he took a variation of the Invictarus Eagle as his personal heraldry. This personal heraldry would go on to become the chapter symbol for the newly founded Black Consul chapter.